League’s two lowest teams battle it out in search for first wins of the season
West Brom to win 1-0
The match between bottom and second-bottom is never the most glamourous of ties, especially for the neutral fan.
For West Brom and Sheffield United, however, it represents life and death as far as their existence in the Premier League goes, with both sides searching for their first wins of the season.
They have been poor in several aspects, but particularly in scoring goals – The Baggies have managed just six in their nine matches, while The Blades have fared even worse with just four. They’ve collected just 4 points between them from a combined 54 available.
Regardless of how this match ends, both of these teams are likely to struggle for the remainder of the season unless something drastically improves between now and May.
West Brom are probably the slight favourites, firstly as the home team, but also considering their relatively solid performance against Manchester United last weekend.
Both teams would have ear-marked this game as vital, so we should expect performance levels to rise to the occasion.
Form Guide (all comps): DDLLL
Reasons to be cheerful:
Have looked better in front of goal than their opponents
Their defeats have come against bigger teams
Reasons to be fearful:
Failed to score in all the last three defeats
Gibbs and Livermore remain doubts after Covid-19 test
West Brom were unlucky in some respects to have taken nothing from their match against Manchester United last weekend.
They arguably should have had a penalty, which was overturned by VAR, before seeing United’s penalty retaken after goalkeeper Sam Johnstone stepped off his line too soon.
Despite this, West Brom just haven’t been able to secure the points they’ve needed to lift them out of the bottom three and time could be running out for manager Slaven Bilic to turn things around.
They have, however, appeared slightly more likely than their opponents to put the ball in the back of the net, and having Robson-Kanu back from injury will help matters.
This is a huge match for The Baggies, and perhaps the incentive of moving out of the bottom three with a win will prove vital
Star Man – Callum Robinson
Almost changed the game when he came on as a sub against Manchester United – must start here.
Form Guide (all comps): DLLLL
Reasons to be cheerful
Three of their last four defeats against Liverpool, City & Chelsea
Lys Mousset could return after two months of injury
Reasons to be fearful
Have looked blunt in front of goal
Chris Wilder’s role as manager is under threat
Sheffield United at least have a season of Premier League experience under their belt, where last season they performed ahead of expectations.
That has not helped them so far this season, but against the newly promoted West Brom, it could help to give them the edge.
Their only point so far this campaign came against Fulham, also recently promoted from the Championship, but they must view this fixture as a crucial route to kickstarting their revival.
Summer signing Rhian Brewster has worked his way back to fitness, but seeing as he has not really impressed in front of goal so far, McBurnie and McGoldrick are most likely to lead the line here.
Lys Mousset has worked his way back from injury and could play some part here. His six goals last season would make the world of difference to The Blades right now.
Star Man – David McGoldrick
His three goals this season are two more than anyone else for the club
Will likely be a tight cagey affair
One goal will settle it
A draw is not much use to either side
Gaining three points is all that will be these two teams’ minds this weekend – for West Brom it will probably be enough to lift them out of the bottom three, although Sheffield United would remain even with a win.
Whoever is the more positive here will take the points, but nerves could play a part as neither side wants to lose the match. Unfortunately, nothing but a win has any worth this weekend.
West Brom could edge it with the players they have in forward positions, and with a goalkeeper in Sam Johnstone who proved his worth against Manchester United last weekend.
West Brom to win 1-0